tv Piers Morgan Tonight CNN August 25, 2012 9:00pm-10:00pm EDT
he would do in a heart beat, call my mama. >> according to the county sheriff's department, the tips still rolling in, but nothing concrete enough to make an arrest. it is of course a very active investigation. that's it for tonight's show, i'm randi kay. >> and i'm drew griffin, thank you for joining us. tonight a message for america. superstar melissa etheridge, passionate about her music. and her opinions. >> i think it has done us more harm, believing in the huge differences between left and right, democrat and republican. >> plus sex, cash and politics, she was at the center of a scandal that exploded into political headlines that exploded a career and ended a marriage. >> do you really think that men
cheat for bad sex, do they? >> and the most important question of all, is she sorry? this is piers morgan tonight. >> you have to hear melissa etheridge once and you'll never forget her. she's a two-time grammy winner, oscar winner and also known to speak out on a host of issues close to her heart. melissa, welcome. >> thank you. >> you're a fiery creature. >> when you look at your extraordinary life, professional and personal, how do you feel now about where you have arrived, where you are right now? >> i think at that point, i'm 51 now, i have realized oh, it's just a journey. you never get there. you never get it done.
it's all about how you're doing it. >> that is so true. you never actually going to arrive, are you? this train never gets to a station. >> it does not. there is no there there. and for myself, who, you know, i have achieved some of those markers that you think, oh, the oscar, those things, and each time, i go, there's no there here, that's nice, that's great, but it's about how am i doing and how is this journey. >> what's been the best pit stop on your train so far. what's been the moment if i could replay it for you that you would relive. can't be children, all the women in your life. >> no, i don't want to relive that. >> on stage with bruce springstein. >> when was that? >> that was 1994, unplugged in tv and they said, well, do you want to duet with anyone? i said i have always wanted to sing with bruce, i mean who
doesn't? and he said yes. he was one of those who said, god, if i could stop time right now. >> as the door opens and out comes the boss, and it's unplugged. >> it's him and i singing thunderer road. >> wow. >> yeah, wow, i wanted it to stop, but i couldn't hold it. but i do have the van dam. >> was it as good as you have already heard? >> moments are funny in the now, you have to learn to love it when you're going through it. >> i want to play a clip about love and romance. ♪ nice to meet you ♪ oh, to reach you ♪ come to my window ♪ come and say wait by the light of the moon ♪
♪ come to my window ♪ i'll be home soon. >> that to me is what -- that is american music at its best. it's the kind of music that you want to get your little chevy, and get on the pacific coast highway, get the shades on, ramp up the etheridge. >> yes, yes. i write songs for people who drive in cars. >> you're right to do that. because people spend a lot of time in cars. >> that's what i want to help them get from point a to point b. >> i normally leave it to the end, i get a feel come on, how many times have you been properly in love. you sing about heart break and agony and torment, the joyings and the despair of love and row mansion. come on, you great love, writer, singer, you. >> love, love, love. >> how many times have you been
properly in love. >> in terms of i thought i was in love. >> but that doesn't count. >> okay, properly in love. >> yes. >> okay, properly in love? >> yes. >> i love how you english say that. because what is properly in love? >> i am now properly in love because i am now properly in love with myself. that's the only way i could be properly in love with someone else. >> you haven't been able to give that person the whole you? myself was, i felt, oh, they'll fill this up. if i have that person, i can fill this up. and you can't. and they can't. we're living two different realities, everyone is. and so to think that something -- to think that adding someone to you is going to make you whole, you're in for a big drop. so now that i understand it's about loving myself, that that's the only way i can be in a good
relationship, is to love on myself, to work on myself, to be the best me, for my children, for my partner, that's being in love. then you can offer love to someone else. >> let's turn to politics, i know you like your politics and you have been very vocal about this. it's been a big year for the gay and lesbian community in america. are you happy with the speed and theed advances that have been stowed down, or do you feel think a lot of talk, not enough action. >> getting towards gay and lesbian rights, getting to understand the diversity of america. i was hoping e in ten years we d all feel comfortable about it. this change, this change of paradime of understanding, love,
relationship, family, society, takes time r we moving in that direction, absolutely? >> when i grew up, gay was a bad word, homo, those were bad words. the blacks, the poor, them, then there was the immigrants, them. now the them is me. that was a very poignant way of putting it. do you feel the them that is you, and those who have been like you are in a much better position now that you have a president prepared to go on television and say, i support. >> absolutely, i do think that was a big tipping point in this movement, in the movement toward equality and the recognition of diversity. it's very important to be able to say, oh, well, my president said he's for it. it actually having it be enacted
at a federal level, that's a ways off. >> when you go back to kansas, is it better there in reality? is there more tolerance? >> what's the right word? >> because it feels like i'm doing something you have to tolerate. >> what's is right word? >> you can divide us up any way, sexually, color, religion, we're all different. >> but do you feel it's getting better in placings like kansas? >> especially kansas, i came from kansas in the middle of the 60s which was the middle of the civil rights movement. kansas was that neutral state, where we're not south, we're not north, we have held that, they're just good, hard working people that want to do unto others and they understand what that means. >> facing election, but you have actually formed the democratic
convention in 2008. barack obama's facing one hell of a fight, many people assume in november. what do you think of his record in the last. >> my politics have einvolved. i think it has done us more harm believe i believing in the idea of republican and democrat. their definition is socially. i am a little bit skeptical having seen the last 20 years of democrat and republican. they're still moving the same multinational corporation agenda forward, so i have -- i'm starting to go, wait a minute, i think there needs to be a little alternative. i'm starting to get really progressive here whether it's democrat or republican.
socially, of course i would love to see the democratic party still control some of these issues are moving forward. >> you feel dpresds when you say that? >> not dreepressed, i feel like lot of people are feeling, it's like us and them and republicans and democrats and all these horrible things. we all want the same things, we want lower taxes, we want a better system, we want strong schools, we want better businesses. and to divide ourselves like this, and which have got to learn to get together on this. >> i want to talk to you about this specifically. you've handed me this exotic thing and i want to talk about your extraordinary battle with cancer. and your life seems very profound to me. ♪
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♪ and i'm falling, falling, hey, hey, hey i'm falling up now. >> i'm falling up, the first single from melissa etheridge's new album. tell me about this album. because there's a direct quote here, you said i believed it myself more in this album than i ever have before. >> is this is this like you said to me, you learned to love yourself? >> yes, this came from a place, of, in eng land where i hadn't been in 20 years in some of these places and they were still listening to my music, loving my music and i went, wait a minute, why am i getting down on myself,
why don't i believe in myself the way my fans do, my audience does. i went in the studio, played all the did tars, made songs. >> you came through, 2004 you were diagnosed, your father had died of cancer, you said it was the best thing that ever happened to me. why did you feel that? >> i was being a good grown up, i was working very hard, i was trying to be thin. i was eating power bars every day and drinking lattes and it's not food. it's not. so by my body breaking down and forcing me to be still, that was the biggest thing, that was the biggest thing, i had never been still, i had been working since i was 12. be still and let the whole world pass me by and actually give me time to contemplate my life, my
spirit, my health. what is this cancer? and then getting back up after the treatment and saying, oh, i'm going to walk now. remembering what it was like, like that. and start my life in a balanced light, everything i eat, everything i feel, everything i do. >> you said i don't want to look like a criminal to my children anymore. you said this is a choice that you make as a responsible adult. if god forbid you were struck again by cancer, would you take marijuana? >> oh, yes, absolutely. i am a card holding medicinal marijuana registered person in california. and i use it as medicine to help the gastrointestinal issues i have after chemotherapy.
at the time when i was going through chemotherapy, i used it as medicine to help me sleep rand to relieve pain. there are cannibsu medicines that are useful to us. i would go to those alternatives first before i went back to western medicine. >> you're on tour, hitting 27 cities in the next three months. what is next in the empire building of melissa etheridge, where do you want to be in five year's time? >> i want to still be creating. i would love to create more for stage. >> do you have one great ambition. >> yes, i do. i do have an ambition for a broadway show. i'm actually working on one right now, a couple of these songs come from the project that i'm working on. i would love to write for more
. good morning, i'm here in new orleans, in the ninth ward of new orleans to announce that am a candidate for the president of the united states. >> it began in 2006 with so much promise for then senator john towards, of course we all know how it ended. it destroyed his political career, ruined his marriage and left his life in a shambles. rheal hunter tells her side of the story. she joins me in her first cable interview. how are you? >> you' ee're shaking your head already? what are you shaking your head for? >> i have had an interesting few days. >> you've been beaten up maybe by a lot of women who have taken offense to the book.
who have tried to paint you as the scarlet woman in all this. >> i feel that it is unfair judgment and usually made from assumptions and from people who haven't read the book. >> the chapters in the book each have a quote, which is quite an interesting way of doing it. and they tell a little story of their own. introduction means fame mean many people who have the wrong idea of who you are, erika young. do we have the wrong idea about who you are? and if so, what is the real rey reyal -- rielle hunter. >> what do you think people see you as right now? >> destroyer, evil, basher. >> how much of it is unfair? >> i think all of it is unfair. >> you take no responsibility
for any of it? >> for the public perception. >> for a series of assumptions when you broke up john edwards marriage and destroyed his political career and left his life in a shambles. that's why people have the visceral view that they do. >> i didn't do that, john edwards did that. >> all of it? >> he is responsible for his career and his marriage. he's 50% responsible for his marriage. elizabeth was 50% responsible for it as well. >> what are you responsible for? >> i am responsible for my part in that being the third party. >> knowing what you know now after all that played out, after having that first encounter, would you do it differently? >> absolutely. i would. i mean the whole thing would be different. the hardest thing about that is that because i have quinn, it's
hard to have any regrets at all going down that road because i ended up with quinn. any parent knows that, any parent who has a child, it's hard to regret the relationship because it produced your child. >> you've broken up with john. do you think it's irreparable? do you think this is it? >> i have no idea. which have such a great relationship in communicating and a lot of love for each other so it wouldn't surprise me if we were able to work things out or -- and it wouldn't -- whatever happens between us, we will continue being loving, great parents. >> there's a lot of conjecture about why you split up, what is the truth? >> it felt like the right thing at the time. that's the truth. we're in very different places
right this second. >> the media is running rampant with the theory that john's oldest child, kate, in her older 30s, has taken the position that 41 blames you for the break up in the marriage. there's another theory and feel free to confirm or deny this, it's more to do with the fact that in the boom, you reveal a number of other affairs that her father had that's news to her and the other kids, and it's that that has caused the real problem. >> the truth is that we have had problems for a long time that we haven't addressed because we put the children first. so it just came to a head, and the media scrutiny and bashing was very hot right now, obviously. >> are you surprised? >> what surprises me most is how
mean people are, and how they judge based on things they don't know anything about. that always surprises me. >> what is the biggest misconception people have about you? >> that i'm an evil person, a destroyer. >> how do you characterize what happened at its essence, between you and john. if it wasn't the destruction of his marriage and his political career and so on, how do you characterize it? >> from that addition traction, from the loss of everything, came a great gift of growth for him that's changed him, incredibly and came the great gift of our child. >> do you think if it wasn't for his other children who had such strong fears, particularly his oldest darks who was obviously a
fully fleshed adult who can make her own decisions, it was -- you've got feelings, i tell you that? >> you can say, if that, if this all day long. >> it's the book, that's caused you to break up? >> how can you say one event caused the break up in the relationship? >> because it was during the week that the book came out. and people do simple math. >> in my life, things happen all at once. it happens to be a pattern in my life. >> did you read the book before? >> before what? >> before publication? >> not before publication? . >> did you offer it to him? >> no. >> he said no. >> why? >> you would have to ask him?
>> did he try to stop you from writing it? >> no, not at all. >> when did he read it? >> you should talk to him about this. >> i would love to. >> maybe you will one day. >> at the moment, i'm talking to you. >> i don't want to talk about him. >> he has read the book? >> i don't want to talk about that. >> you want to talk about your book? >> i want to talk about my -- yes, i do. >> the name of the book is called john edwards, the real me and our daughter. >> those are things you should be asking him. >> when you behave like this people get irritated, you're written a book called what really happened. >> i'm sorry, piers, you have to have boundaries in your life. >> what boundaries? >> the media is not entitled to
everything in your life. >> rielle, rielle. there's very little about your life i haven't read in this book. there's every spit and cough. >> it is true. >> it starts on the day that i met john edwards, this book. i have lived 43 years before i met john edwards. >> when we come back let's talk about this night. because obviously you want my to respect your privacy. you said somewhere in the midst of our talk and how far off the rails his marriage was, i decided i would let him lead. and lead he difficult it was just the beginning. you know why i sell tools? tools are uncomplicated. nothing complicated about a pair of 10 inch hose clamp pliers.
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>> yes, i can read it. >> you can? >> yes. that is a great speech. >> i'm so glad you like it. >> i like it. wait until you hear me give it live. >> the campaign plane, mr. edwards in front of the camera, rielle hunter is back to talk to me about their affair. it all looks sweet and innocent and happy there. do you ever wish that it would have stayed right there? >> yes, i have those thoughts, but i do look at that and smile. >> high are you smiling? >> because it was fun, funny, he was very happy. i got a lot of heat for that, you know, because he was so flirty, and as a filmmaker, kept that in because he was flirty with everyone back then, it wasn't just me, it was very true to who he was then. he's changed a lot. he's not like that now.
>> he's talking in graphic detail, i know you don't want to talk about john. >> i want to talk about what's in the book. you're asking me about john today. it's very painful. >> i'm asking about the time you first went to bed with him. which you tell in graphic detail. >> i don't tell the detail of the bed hopping, you do. >> you're naming it -- why don't the media make everything so salacious? >> because you put salacious material in your book. >> it is not salacious. >> i'm not spinning it. i just read before with a break, what you write about, this incredible night of your life, it was the best sex you ever had. >> i did not say that. >> was it or wasn't it? >> oh, my god, walked right into that. >> you have made no secret of it being the best sex in your life? >> do you really think men cheat for bad sex?
>> i never really thought about it like that? >> some must be bitterly disappointed. >> perhaps. >> the book, i mean whether you like it or not, the problem is, you have opened yourself up a lot in the book, i think so criticisms, i mean there's no doubt about that. >> i have. >> and the main criticism has come from the bway you describe elizabeth. and you use phrases about her, venomous, crazy, witch on wheels. >> i did not say witch on wheels is not about elizabeth. these things are taken out of context. and when you read the story, like when you take the tidbit about the -- >> who's the witch on wheels? >> i was talking about passive-aggressor relationships, when a man doesn't stand up, relationships in general, when a man doesn't stand up, the woman is often seen as a witch on wheel, often vilified, which is
is exactly what happened to me. >> but you were obviously referring to elizabeth right now? >> no, i'm talking about a relationship. >> who else did he have in his life that could possibly be seen as a witch on wheels? >> i am seen as a witch on wheels. >> you are now, yes a lot of the track you've been getting is these descriptions in a round about way criticisms about elizabeth. do you accept when somebody's dead and can't answer back, it looks graceless? >> i accept it looks graceless, yes. my intention is not to bash elizabeth edwards, it's never my intention. my intention was to tell the truth of the story for the six years that i saw it through my eyes. i saw elizabeth through the eyes of john edwards. he would tell me things. other people would tell me things, i only met elizabeth once. >> so you based everything in the book that you say about her
on what john edwards told you. >> when you're in relationship with a married man, that's how you're going to receive the information about his marriage. >> but do you believe everything he told you about his marriage is right? >> do i believe everything i was told? >> given that's how you based your opinion of elizabeth. >> the reason i ask is that he told you multiple lives. >> i don't know the answer to that. >> you don't know if you trust me him. >> i don't know if i trust him about everything he said, i don't know. >> is it possible, and from that answer it clearly is, that he exaggerated how bad elizabeth was probably to please you. no woman wants to hear i'm madly in love with my wife and she's fantastic, that's why i'm with you. most people say my wife is great
and that's why i'm with you. if he exaggerated that and was spot on about him lying to you, you must be regretful of your impression of her? >> am i regretful of my impression of her? are you sorry for what you did to her? >> i am sorry. i'm absolutely sorry for my part in the relationship, being, having an affair and any pain it caused anyone including elizabeth absolutely. >> if she was still alive, would you say to her, i'm sorry. >> absolutely. in fact in my book, i even talk about how i regret not being able to talk to elizabeth. >> that's one removed from actually looking someone in the eye and saying, i'm sorry. i regret what i did to you. >> i absolutely regret that. >> the fact that she was dying of cancer made the whole thing ten times worse.
you were in the middle of this maelstrom of attention and also there is now a baby involved and there was this extraordinary cover-up that was launched with his aid, he was going to pretend to be the father and all the rest of it. you see what a tangled web we weave when at first we do deceive. it's a classic of its time. going back to that moment, what would you have done differently? >> i never would have gone along with that. >> why did you? >> out of fear. i was afraid that my daughter wouldn't have a relationship with him. that's the only thing i can come up with. and it was hard even to get there. but once i said yes -- it's -- it was stupid, really. >> i get the feeling from your -- the worst moment for you came when he denied that it was even remotely possible that the baby could be his. let's watch a clip of this?
>> a report has been published that the baby of ms. hunter is your baby. true? >> not true. not true. that's a supermarket tabloid. that is absolutely not true. >> i mean a point blank lie from a guy who wanted to be president. pretty extraordinary. not unheard of. but still extraordinary. when you heard him and saw him do that, what went through your mind? >> i was devastate. it was devastating, but even knowing that he was going to do it, did not prepare me for how it felt. >> what did he think he could get away with. he was a bright guy, a smart politician. and he knew he had all the
credentials to be president. but all of it was just an exacerbation of the previous gamble, it got bigger and worse with every twist and turn? >> and your question is, how did he think he was going to get away with it? >> why did he think he could get away with it? >> i don't think he was in his right mind when he did that. once he got caught at the beverly hills hilton in 2008, he was very strange for about a month. because his double live had been exposed. it was difficult. he was all over the place. he was temporarily insane. it was strange. it's not the best time to invite a camera crew into your house and give an interview. >> talking of camera crews, there was also the infamous sex trip you made to uganda. let's take a break and we'll talk about that. ♪
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seen her and i didn't know that the videographer was a female. i was completely in the dark. >> and naive. >> and naive. >> that was elizabeth in 2009 with john king talking about the moment that she found out john was cheating on her. >> what goes through your mind? >> nothing went through my mind, i just felt sad. >> you began working as this videographer on the campaign, on your trip to uganda, you made a sex tape together. again, i come back to this extraordinary risk taking, what were you both thinking? apart from that, you weren't even using birth control? how did you all think this was going to end? sex tapes, no birth control? >> how did i think it was going to end? >> how could this end in
anything but a catastrophic manner if a guy wants to be president? >> that was a mistake. i'm not saying because you asked two things there. >> let's talk about the sex tape first. >> that was a mistake. >> whose idea was it? >> that was a mistake. >> it doesn't matter. >> people have tried to portray you as the evil person hooking in john edwards and this was part of your plot. you know? get a sex tape, get it leaked, turn yourself into the kim kardashian of politics. >> that's not true. >> so it was his idea? >> that was not true. we were in love and sleep deprived and it was a stupid thing to do. it was a mistake. >> whose idea was it not to use birth control? >> we were both adults. we didn't use birth control. >> why? >> we were in love. >> what does that have to do with it? the guy wants to be president. it seems extraordinary.
these little details. what were you both thinking? >> we weren't. >> at all? >> clearly. >> you've been married before? >> i have been married before. >> when people say you don't understand marriage, what do you say to them? >> that i don't understand marriage? >> that you don't understand the damage -- you wrecked democrat you're a marriage wrecker. >> no. i understand marriage very well. i was with my husband -- i was married for nine years. we were together for 12. we did a lot of couples marriage and we know the dynamics that go on. >> why did that marriage end in the end? >> why did it end? it ended because we didn't work. and we both realized it. and i never cheated on my husband. i'm not a big believer in infidelity. i went to my husband and said this doesn't work. i want out, we need out, we need to talk about it. >> there has to be a level of responsibility and self-awareness, doesn't there? >> there is. >> when you go into a married
man's hotel room and he's a very famous guy. >> he's responsible for that. i said e -- yes, i am not married. >> are you responsible at all? >> i was not married when i said yes to him. i did not go there under that intention. i didn't go there for that. that's not why i went. >> but you knew he was married? >> i did. but that's not why i went to his hotel room. >> let's take a break. i want to talk to you about the future, about quinn, your daughter. and about what your biggest regret may be. ♪
back now with rielle hunter. you've been a bit of a butt of jokes now for five or six years, a bit of a national laughing stock, hated by people who don't even know you. what has that been like on a human level? >> it's hard. it's very hard to have the wrath of america directed at you, especially -- and i really do want to say that i -- i am
responsible for my part in this and i do take responsibility for my part and i am not a home wrecker. i feel very strong -- >> here's the thing. i'm not entirely sure when you say that, what you think you are responsible for, given that you think you had no responsibility for the affair starting, et cetera. what are you responsible for? >> i'm responsible for the continuing on of the coverup in a big way and the continuation and the hurt and pain that came out of that. i am. >> but you don't regret going to his hotel that night? >> i don't -- i don't regret loving him, i really don't. >> that came later? >> yeah. a couple of days later. >> yeah. but you don't regret, i mean, that action of yours, as a woman who knows he's a famous guy who's married going to his hotel room for a guy that is married
for the night which precipitated everything else, you don't regret that? >> i do regret. i actually regret having an affair with a married man. i do. it's an awful thing. but i don't regret loving him, once again, because of quinn. >> why did you do the book? what did you hope to gain? all you've been getting is just a low-ball flack. >> because there's so much distortion about this story and i feel that it's unfair for my daughter and really for all of the kids to have to grow up under the umbrella of negativity and distortion. because what happens, though, is there's all this judgment based upon things that are not true. and that judgment actually affects the kids. you know, they go to school, the kids at school, their parents have judgments and there is all of this judgment made that john edwards is a demon, that i'm a home wrecker, anthat elizabeth was a saint. and it's not true. and i think that my daughter
deserves the truth. >> given all of the publicity that the book has attracted, would you have written it a different way? >> i think that i would have edited a little differently. because what happens when you give the media these little juicy things to take out of context and spin and create all this negativity, people can't hear anymore. they get so wrapped up in the tsunami of negativity, they can't hear what you're saying. so if you can find a way to communicate, if i can find a way to communicate better that is more neutral so people can hear, i think that would help. >> john's kids may be watching this, and they might well be, his daughter in particular, what would you say to her? >> that i'm sorry for any pain that they've gone through. >> genuinely sorry? >> oh, absolutely. >> and now you have your own child. are you more acutely aware as